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Comment It gets worse. (Score 4, Funny) 174

For example, AT&T, imposes a $325 'activation fee' for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it.

These are only promotional introductory rates, good for the first 24 months. After that, the charges revert to "standard" rates, the details of which are not available anywhere.

Even the NSA has not been able to find any information on what they will have pay at the end of the promotional period.

Comment et tu? (Score 5, Insightful) 204

This is how you find out who's snitching to the feds.

I can well understand why anyone in the non-corporate, civilian security community would have absolutely lost any shred of trust they had in the feds.

Those guys in DEFCON know who Aaron Schwartz is. They probably know people like Edward Snowden. They know that the federal government could bring their whole world crashing down in a heartbeat, without anything like constitutional rights.

I bet there are some feds who are sad about missing the parties, and about missing all the intel. But seriously, if any of them were decent people, they'd be blowing whistles, too.

Anybody who's working for the federal government in cybersecurity needs to make a decision about their future. Are they OK with being part of a police state? I know jobs are scarce, but if the day ever comes where push comes to shove, understanding of why they chose to continue to be part of this American StaziTM is going to be even more scarce.

Comment Re: The urban poor subsidized the rich for a while (Score 1) 372

Also, per the second reference, the top 10% of the US pays more than 60% of the TOTAL tax income.

So? They control 77% of wealth in the US, and it's going up. Source: http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Unless we want wealth (and ultimately, political power) to ultimately concentrate in the top few percent of people, we need to maintain a progressive tax rate to maintain any semblance of democratic society.

Comment Re: The urban poor subsidized the rich for a while (Score 1) 372

Emphasis mine:

Capital gains, when applied to stock market gains, means that a company's worth has increased by making more money, on which the company has been taxed.

That is not necessarily the case. There are innumerable examples of companies whose stock price has gone up even though there has not been a comparable increase taxable corporate income. Stock price depends on a lot of factors, and taxed profits are but one small part.

If you were limiting discussion to dividend income, I could see your point, although I disagree with it... but it is clear from what you wrote that dividends are not what you're talking about.

Comment Re:The urban poor subsidized the rich for a while (Score 1) 372

If you think that a large percentage of urban development isn't subsidized as much if not more than rural development, you're either naive or stupid.

Source, please?

Are you saying that rural areas subsidize development in urban areas?

Or are you simply stating that urban areas subsidize their own development, which would hardly be relevant to the argument?

Comment Re:The urban poor subsidized the rich for a while (Score 1) 372

I think you'll find that when it comes to conflicts between people who produce food, and wealthy concentrations of people and power,

But... in the US... the people who produce the food ARE a place where wealth and power is concentrated. We romanticize the small family farm, but that's not where most of our food comes from.

Comment Re:The urban poor subsidized the rich for a while (Score 1) 372

Emphasis mine:

That being said, I am not convinced that it was a good idea in the first place and lean towards getting rid of it now. I haven't studied the issue

So why are you even talking about it?

This particular subsidy was created because it was recognized that the utility of the telephone system was much greater if just about everyone had one than if there were vast areas where no one had telephone service.

Source, please? If you haven't studied the issue, then don't give speculation as assertion.

Despite your claim, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 explicitly states,

To advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas, at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas

Seems to me the point is to ensure remote people get access, not to make the system have a higher utility overall.

Comment Re:Classic mistake (Score 1) 42

My understanding is that the choice to go to Hong Kong is largely to appease the large number of developers and users from Asia that have either had to, or have been unable, to travel to the USA for previous summits.

Great - that's the only thing that conference/event participants care about. Where is it located, and how difficult will it be to get there and get out of there? But I sure hope that no one thinks that it is going to do anything other than allow the maximum amount of people to participate. Granted, there is a definite path for a slow fork to take place once there are two places to gather, but that's by definition.

So again - either the goal is self-evident (you meet where the most people can meet), or it is idiotic (if we meet there, the locals will like us more!).

Comment Re:All guns are dangerous... (Score 1) 976

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-idea-that-recent-mass-shooters-are-mostly-registered-democrats-is-a-myth

Based on the most basic of research, I found the same results for the statements that are most easily verified (Hasan, Lanza, Cho). Furthermore, this appears to be nothing but a lame copy-paste job.

How does it feel to be so completely led around by the nose by your conservative manipulators? Does it feel good to be told nothing but what you want to believe? Of course it does. It still doesn't excuse it.

Comment 'Gone Their Own Way with Android'? What? (Score 1) 42

More recently, Chinese companies have gleefully gone on their own with Android,

What are you talking about? From that article they made a few comments about how they wish to move away from Google's Android. And actually here's the exact quote that sentiment was extrapolated from:

"Our country's mobile operating system research and development is heavily reliant on Android," according to a white paper from a research division of China's tech regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. "Although the Android system currently remains open source, the core technologies and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."

That's a quote from some Chinese Ministry, not even a group of Chinese developers. I hear that more like "Chinese are reluctantly still installing Google's Android on most of their phones. Google's Android use still rising sharply in China with no end in sight." Can you point me to the Chinese repo for the forked source to android? Surely if it's widely distributed it must also make the source available?

'Gleefully gone their own way'? Yeah, tell you what, fork Android for China and let's compare the two code bases for support and worldwide use one year later. I suspect the glee will be entirely one-sided and it's not going to be China's Android.

Comment Classic mistake (Score 2) 42

It seems like a long shot, but maybe by holding the next summit in Hong Kong, OpenStack can draw contributors into the fold.

Only marketing flacks think that something like holding an event in a particular place is going to impress the locals enough to abandon their current priorities and go with the group hosting the event. Every Olympic Games and World Cup in dodgy countries, every peace negotiation in a symbolic place ever has demonstrated two things: hosting the event validates what the host is doing, and the other participants just complain about travel times to reach the destination.

This idea that hosting an event in a particular place can fundamentally change - or even influence - how the locals regard something is ridiculous, has long been proven wrong, and needs to die in a fire. If anything, hosting the next Openstack meeting in Hong Kong would merely validate the idea that the Chinese are on the right track with their own implementation.

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